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Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 11;5:18094. doi: 10.1038/srep18094.

Identification of climate factors related to human infection with avian influenza A H7N9 and H5N1 viruses in China.

Author information

CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China.
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 20740, USA.
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Process and Resources Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China.
Network Information Center, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China.
College of Global Change and Earth System Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China.
School of Mathematical Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China.
CAS Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China.
State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, 102206, China.
Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.


Human influenza infections display a strongly seasonal pattern. However, whether H7N9 and H5N1 infections correlate with climate factors has not been examined. Here, we analyzed 350 cases of H7N9 infection and 47 cases of H5N1 infection. The spatial characteristics of these cases revealed that H5N1 infections mainly occurred in the South, Middle, and Northwest of China, while the occurrence of H7N9 was concentrated in coastal areas of East and South of China. Aside from spatial-temporal characteristics, the most adaptive meteorological conditions for the occurrence of human infections by these two viral subtypes were different. We found that H7N9 infections correlate with climate factors, especially temperature (TEM) and relative humidity (RHU), while H5N1 infections correlate with TEM and atmospheric pressure (PRS). Hence, we propose a risky window (TEM 4-14 °C and RHU 65-95%) for H7N9 infection and (TEM 2-22 °C and PRS 980-1025 kPa) for H5N1 infection. Our results represent the first step in determining the effects of climate factors on two different virus infections in China and provide warning guidelines for the future when provinces fall into the risky windows. These findings revealed integrated predictive meteorological factors rooted in statistic data that enable the establishment of preventive actions and precautionary measures against future outbreaks.

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